This story is over 5 years old.

Internet Videos Of Particular Importance

This Is Why Bill Murray Is Your Favourite Person

As "The Murricane" announces a Christmas musical with Sofia Coppola, we look through his most legendary musical performances.

Heads up: Bill Murray has just saved Christmas. He will be singing carols in a film by Sofia Coppola that will have, according to an official release, “texture”. In a gross understatement to Variety, Murray said: “It will be nice.”

On a personal level, this has filled my life with joy. The only Christmas song I can listen to without hate is “Auld Lang Syne”, by Bill Murray. And now some festive numbers? I mean, just imagine if, come Christmas, carol singers knocked at your door, you opened it, and it was Bill Murray crooning “Good King Wenceslas” into your unsuspecting mug. And he handed you a carrot, whispered “nobody’s going to believe you”, boarded a sleigh and disappeared off down your road. That is all suddenly possible.


Coppola is good at getting Murray to do things that turn out to be brilliant too. Without an agent, he is notoriously hard to pin down, and the only way of contacting him is calling him on his house phone (that he almost never picks up) or by just bumping into him. Which probably happens to her more than it does to us, but still, it’s a fairly high-risk strategy.

One thing is for sure, Bill loves to sing. Maybe as much as he loves golf. So, to celebrate, I thought I'd take a cyber tour through the unofficial discography of America's most casual king.

Everyone who makes music videos - Nabil and your sort - take notes, because this one is perfect: potting plants, trashy rocking garden benches, headphones and handbag cassette players. And Bill Murray. This humble piece of genius was shot in one take by relatively obscure director Ted Melfi as part of the film St Vincent. He called Bill on his house phone and sent him the script for by post. Predictably, Bill didn’t answer. But months later, Melfi received a call asking him to meet at the airport, so they could drive around and talk about it. Like all the best Bill Murray projects, he plays a grumpy bugger and the people love it. The Weinstein Company produced the film and Mr Weinstein footed the bill for the rights to the Bob Dylan track. Which is some commendable Bill Murray commitment.

Here Bill sings "Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)". By his side is Clint Eastwood, although old Clinty doesn't look quite as at home on stage, and it ends up looking like your grandad getting frontman lessons. It's filmed at the annual Murray Bros Caddyshack Charity Golf Tournament, which is a golf tournament started 15 years ago by Bill and his five brothers - raising over four million for charity. If that isn't enough to get you watching, then how's this: at the end of his performance, he low fives two people who are trying to high five him.


Absurdly, this one is probably his strongest vocal (you can watch a very old original here). In the good days of Saturday Night Live, Bill would play a lounge singer called Nick, whose surname varied as much as his open shirt selection. He would swank around the stage, chatting up the audience in formidable loungewear and warble his way through sometimes hits, and sometimes mega-hits like this. His lyrics include “And hey! How bout that nutty star wars bar. Can you forget all the creatures in there”. This is the only time Bill gets truly jiggy.
Other Live Lizard Bill sessions included "Stairway to Heaven", the theme from M*A*S*H and Mario Lanza. Bill doesn’t know anybody who doesn’t love Mario Lanza.

This one is real a treat. Within nine minutes Bill sings Billy Paul’s "Me and Mrs Jones" to Catherine Zeta Jones, TLC’s "Waterfalls" to a delighted Drew Barrymore and a deep-throated Bruce Springsteen’s "Badlands" to everyone else. Recreating the lounge singer for the 25th anniversary of Saturday Night Live, this supreme performance happened fifteen years ago and was probably the best moment Catherine Zeta Jones’ has had on screen. Why haven’t you seen it before?

Is he pissed here? The singing is abominable, but the way it happens is so great. For the 20th anniversary of The Late Show with David Letterman, Bill dressed up as Liberace for his interview and ended the show with a blasting rendition of "I Will Always Love You" ( which was number one when the show started twenty years earlier). He doesn’t usually go in for the big ballads, and he doesn't quite have the range for Whitney, but big Bill gives it his all. There’s never been a moment in his singing performances where he acknowledges his limitations as a vocalist, and you have to admire his gumption. It must be nice singing "I Will Always Love You" knowing that everybody will genuinely always love you.


This bit from Lost in Translation is epic. Wearing an inside out orange camo t-shirt, a black blazer, and a forlorn “if I must” expression, Bill sings "More than This" by Bryan Ferry. While looking at Scarlett Johansson he manages to blinkout a subtext of: “there is nothing more than this moment with you”. I think I’d like to die watching this clip.

The scene doubles up as a Bill Murray karaoke how-to. Step one: get Scarlett Johansson to introduce you as the music starts. Step two: choose a song that only good people know. Step three: neck a shot. Step four: be diligent about the lyrics; watch the screen intensely but at key lyrical moments, make eye contact with your unintended love. Step five: style out the instrumentals and make the most of the opportunity to swallow. Step six: have a drag of someone else’s cigarette and go home.

Bill Murray, you are my favourite band and my favourite man and your name is so bland.

Follow Sarah on Twitter at @sarah_raphael.